Phyllis Pancella

Award-winning mezzo-soprano Phyllis Pancella has performed with major opera companies and orchestras throughout the United States and in Canada, Mexico, England, Israel, Italy, France and Belgium. Her teaching experiences piqued her interest in how learning and cognition operate in the one-to-one instructional setting, so she went back to school. She joined the Voice faculty in 2020.

My job is to work myself out of a job: to help students build the skills and confidence to communicate as artists on their own terms.

Phyllis Pancella


  • Teaching experience includes master classes and private voice instruction at Florida State University, Indiana University, Boston Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri (at Columbia, Kansas City and St. Louis), University of Kentucky, University of Kansas, Skidmore College and Northwestern University.

Career Highlights 

  • Roles from Carmen and Adalgisa to Lizzie Borden and Nero, with major companies in Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Paris, Tel Aviv and Naples, Italy.
  • Concert repertoire performed under the batons of Leonard Slatkin, Jane Glover, Daniel Barenboim, James Conlon and Anne Manson, among many others.
  • Chamber music and art song with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, OK Mozart, BargeMusic and the Prague New Music Festival.
  • Many premieres, including the Alice Tully Hall presentation of Dominick Argento's "Miss Manners on Music," and the west coast premiere of Kamala Sankaram's "Thumbprint."
  • Recording with the Naxos, Erato and Neos labels.

Awards, Recognitions and Honors 

  • Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Winner
  • Montreal International Competition First Place and Prix du Public 
  • MacAllister Award, First Place and Critic's Choice Award
  • Washington Opera Artist of the Year
  • George London/William M. Sullivan Foundation Career Grant
  • Richard Tucker Foundation Career Grant


M.S. Educational PsychologyFlorida State University

B.A.University of Kansas